A monthly recollection is a chance to step back from the whirlwind of daily tasks for a few hours of quiet prayer spent looking at God, the world, and ourselves. It is not always easy to find time to pray, but it is always worthwhile.
The best way to enjoy this recollection is to find a time that you can commit to spending with our Lord, and a calm place—free of distractions—where you can pray. Set aside other tasks, switch your phone to “do not disturb,” and grab a notebook. It is a good idea to make note of resolutions and ideas throughout the recollection, but the most important thing is to put yourself in front of our Lord, to look at Him and to let Him look at you.
II. Meditation: Let Us Go With Christ (30 minutes)
III. Spiritual Reading (10-15 minutes)
IV. Holy Rosary (20 minutes)
V. Examination of Conscience (5-10 minutes)
VI. Meditation: Being a Friend of Christ (30 minutes)
if we are in christ's hands, we should accept our life as God wants it.
"Jesus, as we were saying, is the sower, and he goes about his task by means of us Christians. Christ presses the grain in his wounded hands, soaks it in his blood, cleans it, purifies it, and throws it into the furrows, into the world. He plants the seeds one by one so that each Christian in his own setting can bear witness to the fruitfulness of the death and resurrection of the Lord.
"If we are in Christ's hands, we should absorb his saving blood and let ourselves be cast on the wind. We should accept our life as God wants it. And we should be convinced that the seed must be buried and die if it is to be fruitful. Then the shoots start to appear, and the grain. And from the grain, bread is made which is changed by God into the body of Christ. In this way we once more become united with Jesus, our sower. 'Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.'" (St. Josemaría, Christ Is Passing By, no. 157).
Who is Christ for you? The apostles had the courage to give their lives for the Lord, and to spend all they had sharing the good news with others. You can listen to or read this meditation about following Jesus Christ here:
The most important part of the meditation is your personal conversation with our Lord. You can use the priest's prayer to inspire your own.
III. SPIRITUAL READING
“You write,” says St. Josemaria in The Way, pt. 117: “'In my spiritual reading I build up a store of fuel. It looks like a lifeless heap, but I often find that my memory, of its own accord, will draw from it material which fills my prayer with life and inflames my thanksgiving after Communion.'”
IV. HOLY ROSARY
The Holy Rosary is an ancient Christian prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother, asking her to pray for all her children in our time of need. You can find a description of how to pray the Rosary here, and download the Litany of Loreto (traditionally prayed at the end of the Rosary) here.
V. EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE
The questions below can help us consider in the presence of God how we’ve responded to His love in our acts and omissions. It may help to begin by invoking the Holy Spirit and to end with an act of contrition, expressing our sorrow for our sins and imploring God’s grace to return and remain close to Him. The act of contrition can be any we like, including one as simple as Peter’s words to Jesus after the Resurrection: "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you" (Jn 21:17).
1. "The sower went out to sow. And when he sowed the seed [...] some of it fell on good soil and began to bear fruit" (Mt 13:3-8). Do I trust in the strength of the seed that the Lord has sown in my soul? How can I be more patient with myself and with others, without becoming discouraged when my efforts do not seem to bear the desired fruit?
2. "The Lord wants his children in all the honest pathways of this earth, sowing the seeds of understanding and forgiveness, of harmony, charity and peace. —How about you? What are you doing?" (Forge, n. 373).
3. God has given each of us different talents or qualities and expects us to make them bear fruit. How do I thank the Lord for what he has given me, and how do I look for creative ways to put my qualities at his service, to bring souls closer to God?
4. A man "sowed good seed in his field. [But] his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away" (Mt 13:24-25). Do I know how to live with my own imperfections, with those of others and of institutions? Do I ask the Lord to help me not to be discouraged, and to teach me to look at reality supernaturally and with understanding?
5. In the face of difficulties, do I try to remember, with St. Paul, that "all things work together for good for those who love God" (Rom 8:28)? In what ways can I grow in my certainty that God brings good even out of the most difficult, negative circumstances?
6. "My chosen ones will consume the work of their hands. They will not toil in vain [...] for they will be the blessed seed of the Lord. Before they call I will answer them, they will still be speaking, and I will have heard them" (Is 65:23-24). Moved by trust in God, do I try to overcome the obstacles I encounter when I try to bring someone closer to the Lord? Do I pray and look for ways to help other people?
Our joy is rooted in faith in the Risen Christ. Listen to this meditation about what that means in our lives today here:
The most important part of the meditation is your personal conversation with our Lord. You can use the priest’s prayer to inspire your own.